‘India-UAE ties historic’

The Indian President Pratibha Patil’s visit to the UAE is expected to take bilateral ties to a new level.

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Published: Mon 22 Nov 2010, 8:41 AM

Last updated: Mon 6 Apr 2015, 4:06 PM

It is also expected to boost trade and business links between the two countries, which currently stands at $43billion.

There is ‘tremendous scope for investing in India’s infrastructure’, she said in a statement ahead of her visit. The Indian President will meet a cross-section of the UAE’s society and polity and looks forward to meeting her countrymen and women, who have contributed to the development of the UAE. Below is the text of her statement.

‘‘Today I commence my first official visit to the Gulf and the West Asia regions, with journeys to the United Arab Emirates and Syria. My visit will, I am confident, reaffirm India’s interest to strengthen ties with countries in these regions, which are a part of our extended neighbourhood.

I am visiting the UAE at the invitation of the President, His Highness Shaikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan. I will be meeting with a wide cross-section of the UAE polity and society during my visit, which takes me to Dubai and Sharjah besides Abu Dhabi.

India has enjoyed historic, warm, friendly and multifaceted relations with the UAE. These relations stretch back over millennia and our civilisational links are well known. The Arabian Sea was the ancient highway across which our ancestors exchanged goods, ideas and much more. It is, therefore, no surprise that our ties which flourished through the ages have deepened and broadened in contemporary times.

Since the creation of the UAE Federation in 1971, these links have been nurtured and sustained by exchange of high level visits.

Our relationship with the UAE is free of any irritants which enables us to focus on the many positives that define our relationship. I look forward to my discussions with His Highness Shaikh Khalifa, as well as other dignitaries, so that we can look at ways and means to further strengthen our bilateral ties in order to realise the full potential that exists between our two friendly countries.

I will also be interacting with the business community, both Indian and local, in the UAE. Our bilateral trade which stood at a modest figure of around $180million in the early seventies, is today valued at $43 billion, which makes the UAE one of our leading trade partners. While emphasising the possibilities of further expanding our trade, I will highlight the tremendous scope for investing in India’s infrastructure. Our fast-growing stable economy with its strong fundamentals makes India an attractive investment destination.

The UAE is one of our leading suppliers of crude oil, playing an important role in the energy security of India. As a country whose energy requirements will increase significantly in the years to come, continued cooperation in this sector is important.

In particular, I look forward to meeting with our countrymen who, thanks to the welcome and encouragement received from the host Government and people, have through their hard work and dedication, contributed to the development and well-being of the host country.

Their positive contribution is no doubt a major factor behind the fact that the Indian community is the largest expatriate community in the UAE. My programme includes several elements, which would give me a glimpse of the various facets of the Indian community in the UAE. I would be interacting with the children of the Abu Dhabi Indian School and meeting with the students at the Dubai Academic City. I would also have the opportunity to inaugurate the new premises of the Indian Islamic Centre in Abu Dhabi. The welfare of the overseas Indian community, particularly our workers, is always uppermost in my mind. I am, therefore, happy that I will be inaugurating the Indian Workers’ Resource Centre in Dubai.’’ — news@khaleejtimes.com

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